Canadian Thanksgiving weekend – there’s a coolness in the air, the leaves are turning yellow, meals inside as the warmth of summer fades into memory.
But not this year – there is a different perspective.
For those in Alberta, a late season heat wave has summer temperatures making Thanksgiving Dinner out on the deck a reality, and fall sweaters left behind on extended walks.
I’m looking at brilliant golden leaves against a bright blue sky – yet here on the Central Coast of Australia it is spring. Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here – with the exception of Norfolk Island, an External Territory of Australia with a population of 1,750 and a 2.5 hour flight from Sydney. Thanksgiving on Norfolk Island is a legacy from the American whaling ships who would make frequent stops to the island during the late 1800’s, but the average Australian knows little of turkey dinner with cranberry sauce.
So although the tree has yellow leaves, it isn’t fall, and although the grocery store seems to be the same as what I am used to in Canada, you can’t buy a turkey, cranberries, or graham cracker crumbs for the pie crust. What they call pumpkin is what we call squash, and no one could imagine pumpkin pie which explains why canned pumpkin isn’t on the shelves. I could have ordered it on-line for $15/can, minimum order of 2 with $10 shipping, along with frozen cranberries at $23.99 for a 500g bag. I just wasn’t THAT grateful!
I did manage to source a turkey after many calls. It was 3.3 kg, just over 7lbs, and $45 and not enough for the 14 invited to the table. Note to self, next time source the ingredients before offering to make a Canadian Thanksgiving meal for extended family and friends!
I could have given in and served fresh oysters, roast lamb and pavlova – but I wanted to share Canadian Thanksgiving, so I got creative and did some work arounds.
I forgive myself for believing things always have to be the same.
I give myself permission to be creative and be willing to expand my perspective.
I choose to willingly expand my perspective when things aren’t how I thought they would be,
I am free to approach new and unusual situations with creativity and possibility.
I know how to do this, it happened when … (for me reinventing traditional Thanksgiving recipes – when did it happen for you with great results?)
I am creative and willing to shift my perspective.
I am grateful to myself for operating in creativity and possibilities.
Part way through the preparations I texted my neighbour in Canada and told her of the challenges. She replied “You totally got this. If it does not taste like Canada, they won’t know. It will taste different than Australia. That is all that matters.”
True wisdom there.
It all turned out magnificently. Everyone loved the uniqueness of the flavours. My mother-in-law raved about my mother’s cranberry relish which I made with dried cranberries instead of fresh, and were blown away by the pumpkin pie which they couldn’t even imagine eating prior, and now can’t imagine living without it.
Increased gratitude in the world, one piece of pumpkin pie at a time. One gesture of peaceful possibility, moment to moment. Sharing, caring and giving thanks.
It isn’t always as it seems. It is always powerful and healing.